How would you describe your ideal adventure holiday? Does extreme water sports count as an adventure or does skydiving sound more thrilling? What if you can enjoy both, and lots more, in a single holiday? Well then, simply head to New Zealand where you can have an adventure-filled holiday unlike anywhere else. This is after all the place where Bungy Jumping was born! Apart from its spectacular natural beauty, New Zealand is famous for its adventurous holidays. From the longest treks to the highest Bungy jump in the world, New Zealand has it all and then some more. So, if you’re looking for a holiday that will set your heart racing and get your adrenaline pumping, pack your bags for New Zealand.
Here are our picks of 10 adventure activities that you shouldn’t miss in New Zealand.
2. Bungy Jumping
4. Jet Boating
5. River Rafting
6. Spelunking (Cave Explorations)
7. Zip Lining
Skydiving is possibly the ultimate, heart-stopping thrill in the world of adventure sports. Nothing gets your adrenaline going faster than jumping out of a plane with only a backpack strapped to your back. Once you overcome the initial rush, the views that greet you will leave you awestruck. For most people it will be their first skydive. But no matter however many times you do it, the excitement never fades. Don’t worry if you’ve never done it before. You’ll do a tandem jump where you will be strapped to an experienced partner. There are many places around New Zealand where you can enjoy skydiving; Lake Taupo, Bay of Plenty, Wanaka, Queenstown and Auckland. And it is as exciting everywhere.
Bungy Jumping and New Zealand share an unbreakable bond. This is where Bungy jumping, as we know it today, first began! The exhilaration of a free-fall followed by an abrupt stop has to be experienced to be believed. When in New Zealand, you can experience a whole range of Bungy jumps. The Kawarau Bungy Site is where it all began, and it is still open. The Nevis Bungy is the highest Bungy jump in all of New Zealand. You can experience both these icons in Queenstown . The Taupo Bungy and the Auckland Harbour Bridge Bungy offer a slight variation on the rest. Here your jump ends with a refreshing dunk in the water below. This is one thrill you just cannot miss in New Zealand.
The rugged landscapes of New Zealand are blessed with a variety of terrain that adds to the excitement of your explorations. From the sandiest of beaches to the snowiest of mountain tops, you get it all in New Zealand. Heli-skiing combines the joy of a helicopter ride with the pure thrill of downhill skiing. But to fly down the slopes, you first need to go up. The slow journey to the top is perhaps the most unglamorous part of skiing. But heli-skiing livens it up by flying you up in record time. For those of you who seek their thrills on a freshly powdered slope, heli-skiing adds a posh touch to your adventure. You can enjoy this incredible experience at Queenstown, Wanaka and Christchurch.
The rivers of New Zealand seem to have been made for rafting. The rivers ease you in with gentle grade 1 rapids where you just sort of hurry along with the flow. And just as you’re getting used to the idea of navigating a river over undulating waters, you’re surging ahead on a grade 3 flow. This is where the adventure starts and sweeps you along on the ride of your life until you’re flying along grade 5 rapids that set your pulse racing. There is no time to be afraid as you pit your wits against the river. As you emerge at the other end of the rapids, you’re left with a sense of achievement that stays with you for a really long time.
Jet boating is the sport for the folks who think river rafting is too slow and relaxing. You don’t need rapids to enjoy jet boating. All you need is a shallow river and a ridiculously overpowered boat that all but flies over the water’s surface. What you get is a sensation of flying as the boat barely skims the water on its way to adventure land. The jet boat zigzags along the river bends almost kissing the sheer rock faces as you leave your sanity behind and begin to enjoy the ride. Though it was developed in the 1950s, the sport is still fresh as the day it was born and is as adventurous. Queenstown and Canterbury have some of the best jet boating experiences. But you can also find the sport in Buller and Makarora regions.
The caves are an integral part of New Zealand’s varied landscape and the country has turned them into a playground for thrill seekers. Spelunking is as popular as bungy jumping in New Zealand. And why not? In keeping with the rest of its natural beauty, New Zealand has some of the most spectacular cave systems in the world. Join a guided spelunking tour and enter a subterranean world of mystery where time stands still but adventure spurs you on. For the shutterbugs, this unexplored world yields a treasure trove of photographic gems. If you head to Nelson, you can gaze upon the deepest sinkhole in the Southern hemisphere! So, whenever you are in New Zealand, do not miss a chance to go cave exploring.
How fast can you travel without a motor vehicle? If you’re riding a zip line, the answer would be “up to 80 km/h”. At such incredible speeds, a zip line is one of the most daredevil experiences in New Zealand. Zip lining is as simple as it gets. You’re harnessed to a steel cable that stretches over hundreds of metres. Christchurch Adventure Park has the longest zipline in New Zealand which stretches over 1.1 km and also the highest in the country at 150 metres. Rotorua, Nelson, Queenstown, Christchurch, Auckland and Waitomo have some of the best zippiness around New Zealand. But Waitomo has one of the best experiences where you can zipline in the through the gallery of glow worms. That is one experience that you should not miss.
Canyoning is one of the best ways to get really close to New Zealand’s incredible landscapes. It combines a number of disciplines such as rock climbing, jumping and abseiling to create a bouquet of adventures. The remote mountains of New Zealand are the perfect staging areas for this fun activity. It is a seasonal activity. So, make advance enquiries before planning your vacation to New Zealand and make sure you embark on this adventure only with reputed professionals. Canyoning contains an element of danger that adds an extra zing to the activity. The Haast Pass Canyon in Wanaka, Routeburn and Earnslaw Canyons in Queenstown, Piha and Blue Canyons in Auckland and the Sleeping Gods Canyon in the Coromandel are some of the best canyoning locations of the country.
Off roading can be done anywhere in the world really. But then what’s so special about off roading in New Zealand? It is the sights that make it so special. Combine that with New Zealand’s love for the outdoors and it all begins to make sense. Camping is a favourite activity here and a big part of the country’s outdoor culture. New Zealand has plenty of backroads and country trails to qualify almost every journey into the wild as an off-roading adventure. But there are companies that have made this inevitable part of camping into a full-fledged adventure activity. From the impressive dunes of the Ninety Mile Beach to the back-country roads of Rotorua, you have a plethora of choices to indulge in a bit of 4X4 fun.
What if someone told you that you could get inside a giant ball and steamroll your way downhill, crushing everything on your way down? If you’re in New Zealand you’re probably at a Zorbing arena. This is yet another exciting activity that was invented right here in New Zealand. The inventors of this sport operate the world’s largest rolling ball park in Rotorua. It has a total of four different tracks and can be enjoyed in two styles. If you can handle being tossed around inside a giant ball as it speeds downhill, this is one of the most fun activities to do. This is definitely a must try on your New Zealand adventure holiday.
With so many adventures awaiting you in New Zealand, it promises to be a rollercoaster ride! What are you waiting for? Book your holidays online today! If you’d rather customise your adventures in New Zealand, just drop into your nearest Thomas Cook India branch. We will help you design the best adventure holiday in New Zealand.